The processes used for polishing concrete are quite possibly the most misunderstood piece of the business. A tremendous amount of sales propaganda is available that can either provide some clarity or add serious confusion.
Over the last few months I’ve had multiple projects with issues related to color. I feel it will benefit Concrete Decor readers to understand the process for corrections as well as some simple tips and tricks for achieving desired results.
Fabien Mené, a French native and art collector, never thought he’d find himself working in decorative concrete. It all started after studying art at the Charles de Gaulle University — Lille III. The idea of creating stenciled tables came to him after making bar counters in a class and wondering if he could add a stencil to the bottom of a casing.
There’s a grinder/polisher model available for just about every task, whether it’s prepping the floor
of a big-box store or finishing a basement or small office. Finding the right tool for the job can make a big difference in speed and efficiency, so know what you want before you go shopping.
Imagine a $75,000 Maserati Ghibli on display on a cracked, chipped, unevenly colored concrete floor. Having trouble with the visual? The same can be said for Audis and Mini Coopers. They’re much more at home on a pristine, polished floor.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a shift in the polished concrete market. As the industry has grown, there has always been three sizes of contractors.
San Diego County is known far and wide for its beautiful weather, interesting people and endless summer atmosphere. So it was with great anticipation when San Diego was picked as the site for the 2016 Concrete Decor Show Sept. 25-29 that it was destined to be one showstopper of a show. And all indications point to that premonition coming true.
When weary travelers pull or carry their bags across the plaza and into one of the lobbies of the Consolidated Rental Car Center at Lindbergh Field at the airport in San Diego, they probably won’t give much thought to the decorative concrete and terrazzo beneath their feet.
Florida’s Miami Beach is a part of the country known for its high real estate prices, but the penthouse condominium sales price of $60 million for the Faena House Saxony Condo set a new high. The 22-story condo, designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning firm Foster + Partners, comes with all the usual amenities such as an in-house spa and fitness center, a private club, concierge service and a round-the-clock doorman. But what the buyers might not realize is that the complex is reportedly the world’s largest poured-in-place vertical polished concrete project.
Concrete placement is never easy, with many variables such as wind, sun, ambient temperature and humidity to consider as they all affect each pour. The mix design and consideration of the actual makeup of the concrete and possible additives are just as important. In today’s world, ready-mix suppliers tweak the mix designs in thousands of small ways with additives to assist the placement and offset some of these considerations. Sometimes these modifications have unintended consequences.
A handcrafted 5,900-square-foot meandering river scene incorporated into the building’s polished concrete floor before the building was constructed. Womack also manufactured and installed three different versions of concrete countertops, and finished the exterior concrete with custom pattern mats and a unique stain.
From huge industrial manufacturing plants and nationwide retail stores to restaurants and residences across the country, polished concrete has become a very popular flooring option over the last decade.